Over three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing tsunami triggered multiple reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan told German lawmakers on Tuesday that the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains unresolved. The disaster has grown into the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and Kan is criticizing current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government for its strategies of dealing with the disaster, and for pushing to restart Japan’s idled reactors.
“It remains a fact that the accident is going on,” said Kan, who was prime minister when disaster struck the Fukushima nuclear power plant three years ago. “Despite that, the Liberal Democratic Party is trying to reboot many nuclear power plants.” Speaking in front of an audience that included German lawmakers in Berlin, Kan said that currently, the plant is still plagued with contaminated water problems and nearly 140,000 evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture remain unable to go back to their homes. Kan also made his opinion heard that there has been no major disruption to Japanese society and the economy, even though a majority of Japan’s nuclear reactors have been mothballed.
Certainly, some of Kan’s statements are true. But on one point, Japan’s struggling economy has been hit hard by the need to import fossil fuels to replace the thermal energy production lost when Japan’s nuclear power plants were idled. The trade deficit is such that Prime Minister Abe’s aggressive fiscal strategies have only pushed the economic improvement so far, as it has been pulled down by the country’s expenditures in importing fossil fuel. But Kan’s message was taken well by the predominantly anti-nuclear audience. Following the Fukushima disaster, Germany had decided to shut down all of its nuclear reactors by the end of 2022.
[via Global Post]